The following is the last few verses of Advaita Bodha Deepika, a classical vedanta text that summarises the theories and methods of vedanta. It was also a favourite text of Ramana Maharshi’s. Here is the culmination of the teaching, as stated in the last verses of Chapter 8:
Disciple: How can the mind be extinguished?
Master: To forget everything is the ultimate means. But for thought, the world does not arise. Do not think and it will not arise. When nothing arises in the mind, the mind itself is lost. Therefore do not think of anything, forget all. This is the best way to kill the mind.
To forget everything is the ultimate means
D.: Has anyone else said so before?
M.: Vasishta said so to Rama thus: ‘Efface thoughts of all kinds, of things enjoyed, not enjoyed, or otherwise. Like wood or stone, remain free from thoughts.
Rama: Should I altogether forget everything?
Vasishta: Exactly; altogether forget everything and remain like wood or stone.
Rama: The result will be dullness like that of stones or wood.
Vasishta: Not so. All this is only illusion. Forgetting the illusion, you are freed from it. Though seeming dull, you will be the Bliss Itself. Your intellect will be altogether clear and sharp. Without getting entangled in worldly life, but appearing active to others remain as the very Bliss of Brahman and be happy.
Unlike the blue colour of the sky, let not the illusion of the world revive in the pure Ether of Consciousness-Self. To forget this illusion is the sole means to kill the mind and remain as Bliss.
Though Shiva, Vishnu, or Brahman Himself should instruct you, realisation is not possible without this one means. Without forgetting everything, fixity as the Self is impossible. Therefore altogether forget everything.’
…altogether forget everything and remain like wood or stone….Though seeming dull, you will be the Bliss Itself. Your intellect will be altogether clear and sharp.
D.: Is it not very difficult to do so?
M.: Though for the ignorant it is difficult, for the discerning few it is very easy. Never think of anything but the unbroken unique Brahman. By a long practice of this, you will easily forget the non-self. It cannot be difficult to remain still without thinking anything. Let not thoughts arise in the mind; always think of Brahman.
In this way all worldly thoughts will vanish and thought of Brahman alone will remain. When this becomes steady, forget even this, and without thinking ‘I am Brahman’, be the very Brahman. This cannot be difficult to practise.
Now my wise son, follow this advice; cease thinking of anything but Brahman. By this practice your mind will be extinct; you will forget all and remain as pure Brahman.
Never think of anything but the unbroken unique Brahman…When this becomes steady, forget even this, and without thinking ‘I am Brahman’, be the very Brahman. This cannot be difficult to practise.